How Married At First Sight Uses Science To Find A Perfect Match (And You Can Too!)

I think it’s safe to say most of us have watched an episode or three of Married at First Sight and revelled in the trainwreck that is completely mismatched couples. 

While the self-proclaimed ‘love experts’ say these couples have been paired using some sort of scientific match-making calculation, how much science actually goes into these sometimes extremely problematic matches? 

Want to know more? Listen as Cosmos magazine journalist Petra Stock breaks down whether science can help to determine a person’s love match.  

According to Cosmos science journalist and shameless MAFS fan Petra Stock, there are a number of ways these love experts determine the show’s matches. 

Firstly, there’s the sniff test.

YEP! You read that right. Singles are asked to wear the same shirt to bed for a week, while following a particular set of rules including not wearing deodorant and staying away from spicy food, before bagging the item in a zip lock bag and sending it in for potential love matches to take a whiff. 

Does this method hold any merit? Apparently so! Science suggests that the more different a man’s aroma is from a woman’s, the more likely she is to be attracted to him. This is likely due to evolutionary factors which help to determine whether the male is genetically different to the female. 

This smell test is likely only to work in the middle of a woman’s menstrual cycle or not at all for women taking a contraceptive pill. 

The show’s love experts apparently give the contestants a say in what type of partner they would like to be paired with, flicking through a digital photo album and identifying all of the physical, personality and socioeconomic factors they find attractive in a potential partner. 

Despite these preferences, often participants are paired up with someone the complete opposite of their usual type. The experts give little scientific explanation other than ‘your last relationships were unsuccessful, maybe try something new?’.

Huh? Science Explained is here, the twice-weekly podcast brought to you by LiSTNR and Cosmos Magazine.